BRIDGE Proof of Concept: Additional special call generates innovative healthcare projects

For six years the SNSF and Innosuisse have been offering the BRIDGE project funding programme. By supporting young researchers who show entrepreneurial flair, the two institutions are helping to encourage innovation.

Since 2017, the BRIDGE programme with its Proof of Concept funding scheme has been supporting young researchers – and specifically those who want to use their research findings to develop social or market-ready applications within 12 months. In 2022 BRIDGE published five calls rather than four as previously. The additional call in September 2022 was aimed in particular at bachelor’s and master’s graduates. The up-and-coming researchers submitted a total of 149 projects, 41 of which have received BRIDGE grants. That equates to an average success rate of 28 percent.

29 percent of the projects submitted as part of this special call came from the humanities and social sciences while 58 percent came from a university of applied sciences. BRIDGE is financing 7 of the 31 project proposals submitted. These comprise 4 projects from a university of applied sciences, 2 from bachelor’s graduates and 3 from the humanities and social sciences.

Two innovative projects from the healthcare domain

Among the projects from the 2022 special call that have been approved is one from Patricia Frei. Together with Lynn Huber at the Bern University of Applied Sciences, she is developing a digital application known as the Migrant Birth Kit. This is designed to improve the health literacy of pregnant asylum-seekers and migrants in Switzerland. The long-term aim is to improve quality of life and lower healthcare costs.

Another recipient of funding is Davide Paparo from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). Together with Ian Häusler, he is conducting the DermatoTherma project. These two young researchers are jointly developing a device with which they will be able to treat the parasitic disease leishmaniasis safely and at low cost. They are already working on the manufacturing process and hope soon to bring their innovation to the market.